Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
It seems like "deja vu", right? Staring down the barrel of yet another storm system heading our way, this one called Tropical Storm Bavi! Whenever they are this far out from us it is difficult to predict with accuracy the final track it will take. We'll just keep an eye on it as it won't be affecting us until Monday. That said, there's a few things happening today. Just Loose It, the new restaurant next to Port Of Mocha's Tamuning location across from ITC, is supposed to have a soft opening special for the first 100 customers. I also heard that Port of Mocha's location next the DNA BLDG in Hagatna will be starting a totally new, more complete menu for breakfast and lunch service. Finally, congratulations to the Simon Sanchez High School ProStart Team who pulled off their fifth straight win in the recent ProStart Culinary Competition held at GCC's Multipurpose Facility. The team is headed by returning national champ and team Captain Abigail Pineda. Other members are Jommel Carlos, Ramses McNeil, and Mark-Tyler Toves (all are seniors). Vicky Schrage is their ProStart Coach and Chef Peter Duenas is their Mentor Chef. Both will be travelling to Anaheim for the National Competition scheduled for April 18-20. Will they win a third victory in a row at the Nationals?
Ken the Guam Food Guy
Roof Top Beer Garden Opens Tonight!
Sea Grill Restaurant
A new hot spot will be opening in a cool place - The Roof Top Beer Garden in Tumon's Sea Grill Restaurant. I shouldn't actually describe it as "in " Sea Grill, it's just outside of the main dining area, on the roof, next to Chef Rey's Herb Garden! This is yet another fantastic, well-planned dining experience developed by the fine folks at Underwater World and I was delighted to have been invited to a "sneak peak " by local media a few weeks back. What you need to know about tonight is that they are having their Grand Opening from 6-10 p.m., and you will be treated to a 2-course menu with free-flowing beer and wine. There will also be giveaways all night. Price of admission is $49.95, which is an amazing value considering what you will be treated to.
This location is open-air, with a constant breeze that seems to be caused by the windflow from the towering buildings surrounding you (Outrigger & the new Dusit Thani). There is something edifying about having cocktails and appetizers outdoors, beyond the confines of ceilings, walls, and doors. From this vantage point you get a panoramic view of Tumon Bay that includes a breathtaking sunset if you arrive on time. Of course, the locally-inspired food creations of Executive Chef Rey Dasalla are the main attraction in my book as he uses fresh herbs from his garden and top quality ingredients.
The dinner starts off with an Appetizer Sampler that includes Seared Cajun Crusted Ahi Tuna with Dijon Garlic Cream Sauce and Lomi Lomi Salmon Salsa, Classic Buffalo Wings with Celery Sticks and Ranch Dressing, and Breaded Japanese Style Squid Legs with Ginger Sweet Chili Sauce. Chef Rey has synthesized a range of cuisines in his creations, which makes his food a thrill to eat! There are vegetarian options available.
You then have a choice of one of five delicious entrees after your appetizer course, which are Chicken Yakitori with Chamorro Red Rice; Local Eggplant Parmesan with Pesto Crostini; Lemongrass Panko Crusted Shrimp with Pineapple Dijon Mustard Sauce and Garlic Fries; Chamorro Style Pika BBQ Ribs with Chamorro Red Rice; and Homemade Dried Beef Brisket and Smoked Pork Combo served with finadene, coconut dinanche and Chamorro Red Rice. As you can see, each plate comes fully loaded, and you will not walk away hungry! I was able to sample most of these dishes (we shared at our table). I had ordered the Homemade beef brisket (tinala katne) as I really enjoy the condiments(coconut dinanche) that Chef Rey's team creates. Their finadene is also quite good, especially drizzled over their flavorful red rice. You should have every confidence in recommending this "local " fare to visiting tourists - it's done right!
If you enjoy wine and beer paired with your meal your selection includes Becks, Amberbock, Kirin, Budweiser, Bud Light, and Stella Artois, as well as several varietals of Wente Wines. All in all, this is a wonderful addition to a great line up of dining and entertainment options for locals and visitors alike. Make your reservations now for a table at the top!
Spicy Thai Noodle Place - Authentic Thai Cuisine
Beach Road (Adjacent to American Memorial Park
A good restaurant is one that maintains the consistency of its food quality and offers you value for the money your spend. By this measure, Spicy Thai Noodle Place fits the bill. The same dish I ordered twelve years ago when I did my first review was Pad Ka Praow (Minced chicken with basil for $7.95), now costs $8.95! I had my lunch with an avowed vegetarian, Arin Greenwood, who was at the time working in the AG's office. She has since left Saipan and written a novel (Tropical Depression) about Saipan and is now working with the Huffington Post.
I haven't been able to update the last review I did (2007), when they were still located in San Antonio, until now. Waree Bracken is still the owner and she has converted this corner house in Garapan into a dining compound, with outdoor seating on verandas and indoor dining in several rooms. There is a strong sense of home-style cooking and eating when you are inside this eatery. This is as casual and informal as it gets.
I ordered a Thai Iced Tea ($2.00), and Spicy Soup (Tom Yam) with Shrimp ($7.95), and Pad Ka Praow (minced pork spicy basil with egg - $8.95). The menu descriptions are almost generic, rarely using the Thai names for the dishes. They do have great color photos (same ones they've had for years) that showcase their menu very nicely. You don't have to say anything correctly, just point to the picture and nod!
The Tom Yam has that aroma you can't resist...sweet, sour, spicy and pungent. I ladled some of the large prawns into a smaller bowl to eat. This comes with a very large scoop of white rice. The Pad Ka Praow had a pile of rice, too. I could only eat a nominal amount of this to balance out the spicy chilis. This time the egg on top wasn't fried with crispy edges...it was egg-white white!! Still, I enjoyed it. I also wondered what it would be like to eat outside on one of the decks...like in a small Thai village. It's charming...I noticed a couple of cats sleeping. If a cat can sleep, this must be a peaceful environment. Come to Spicy Thai Noodle Place for a relaxing time eating your favorite Thai.
Middle Eastern Nights
Pacific Star Cafe
Pacific Star Resort & Spa
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Prepare to enter a brave new world of exotic tastes and flavors!! Take a magic carpet ride (after puffing your hookah) and land in the center of Tumon on the 4th floor deck of Pacific Star Cafe's terrace which has been transformed to a Middle Eastern fantasy! A new buffet is launching this Saturday night, March 14. Called "Middle Eastern Nights ", the Pacific Star's management team has brought in a special guest chef, Chef Adam Sebouai, who is a specialist in Middle Eastern cuisine. Chef Sebouai hails from Tunisia, which rests on the Mediterranean Sea. The featured food is similar to Greek cuisine with hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, kebabs, and shwarma-roasted fresh lamb carved to your liking and loaded in a pita pocket with some veggies and tzatziki (yoghurt garlic sauce).
For this event, you will be amazed at the full range of offerings that will be prepared. Grilled Kebabs of beef, chicken, and jumbo prawns interlaced with grilled onions, bell peppers, and eggplant. Desserts, including baklava and other Middle Eastern confections will be available with a fresh fruit medley flavored with fresh mint. Dates and toasted almond slivers will be had while you toke on your hookah in the great outdoors.
Be sure to top off your journey to the Middle East with a specially brewed Turkish Coffee! It is one of the most divine coffees you've ever had...perfection in a cup! Kudos to the extraordinary vision of Pacific Star's General Manager Roy Abraham who has drawn inspiration from his many years of world travel. Bringing Chef Adam Sebouai to Guam is a game-changer and this dinner buffet experience will run through April 5th. Stay tuned for more details on this extraordinary culinary treat - "an out of the box dining adventure.
Left to Right Leland Feng, Exec Chef Pacific Star Resort & Spa, Chef Adam Sebouai, Ken Stewart, Mathews Pothen, owner, Pacific Star Resort & Spa.
Ken The Guam Food Guy